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{font:Calibri}Happy Cinco de Mayo!{font}

 

There's an article in Wikipedia telling why this holiday is important to both Mexicans and U. S. Americans. I had no idea that the outcome of it- indeed the entire Mexican/French War-had such a profound effect on our history. Not having any Latin roots, I was not going to rip off your celebration for those who do but now I guess I can drink a toast or two to it tonight and feel a part of this. Gracias, Amigos!

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> {quote:title=TCMfan23 wrote:}{quote}I'm not Mexican/Spanish.

>

> I always celebrate Independence Day on July 4th.

>

> It's a Mexican holiday. I don't understand it's importance here in the U.S.

The Wikipedia article stated a semi-trained Mexican army beat a French one twice its size and considered the best in the world while fighting to keep its independence. The French got hold of Mexico for three years but were finally forced to leave. The puppet ruler and some Mexican military "quislings" were executed.

 

Much of this took place during our Civil War. The Confederacy wanted the French to win because they expected their help against the Union. Had this happened the war's end and its eventual consequences would have been much different. This is what I meant earlier; it's foremost a Mexican holiday but the events celebrated had repercussions for all of us here on this side of the Rio Grande.

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Several sources say it is not really much of a Mexican holiday. Independence Day of Sept. 16 is the big Mexican holiday. Cinco de Mayo is mainly an American holiday, and mainly in the Southwest.

 

Somehow (but no one knows exactly how it got started and grew to be so big) the holiday commemorates one single battle against invading French troops at Puebla, Mexico, on May 5, 1862, but very few people know that or pays any attention to it. It just seems like May 5th is a good time to have a big fiesta. :)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinco_de_Mayo

 

The annual Cinco de Mayo festival is more popular in the US than in Mexico, and Mexican-Americans often don't know what that specific date celebrates. From Texas to California, I've seen Mexican-Americans celebrate the day with dancing, music, food, fiestas, while combining the other major Mexican historical events, such as Independence from Spain in 1821, the expulsion of the French in 1866-1867, and the 1910-1920s revolution. This is sort of like the Irish St. Patrick's Day, the Italian Columbus Day, and the French Mardi Gras. And non-Mexicans are welcome to join in.

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Feliz Cinco de Mayo to you, too! :)

 

I happen to be Mexican-American and maybe because of our rich and very present Mexican heritage and maybe because we live within spitting distance of the Rio Grande and Mexico, everyone around here knows Cinco de Mayo is about the Battle of Puebla. And yes, besides knowing the history of the day, it's a good excuse to have great food and great music. :^0

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In NYC we have a nickname for Coronas -- it starts with a "p" has four letters and ends with an "s." Maybe we should be watching Juarez or Viva Villa today.

 

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CasaCinema wote:

 

 

I happen to be Mexican-American and maybe because of our rich and very present Mexican heritage and maybe because we live within spitting distance of the Rio Grande and Mexico, everyone around here knows Cinco de Mayo is about the Battle of Puebla.

 

 

AND

 

 

Which is why some people I know call it Cinco de Drinko . . . . !!!???!!!

 

 

 

 

 

CasaCinema,

 

 

Your second statement seems to contradict the first one; it does not show "...everyone around here knows Cinco de Mayo is about the Battle of Puebla", or that "rich or very present Mexican heritage".

 

 

I too am Mexican, and I don't think that propagating the misconception of the holiday as just a time for all to get drunk is very illuminating or informative. It is the commemoration of a significant battle on that day, as mentioned here, in the city of Puebla, then Mexico's second largest city and on the road from the seaport of Veracruz to the capital. Despite the win, much of beautiful Baroque colonial Puebla suffered major damage, and the French did take over the country for approximately 5 years. Every year it is a big deal in this city (it happened 150 years ago today), and elsewhere people get the day off, and is about as meaningful as our President's Day.

 

 

 

 

 

The reason it's a big deal here in the Southwest is that it came near the end of the traditional school year. Schools wanting to celebrate the Mexican heritage of students were able to prepare a cultural program, whereas Mexican Independence Day came in mid September, just as the school year was beginning. Additionally, it was easy to preempt the existing Mayday celebrations.

 

 

 

 

 

Beer companies were quick to tap into this day as a time to party and embibe their products. And with the spread of Mexican immigrants away from the Southwest to many other states, it has come to become more widespread.

 

 

 

 

 

So while the day makesw a great excuse for Mexicans and non-Mexicans to drink and party, those of us that know the significance of the day may want to share this to make it more meaningful than just a future hangover.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you for that information. I was aware of the Battle of Puebla, but not all of the details that you present here. I hope I did not offend you or anyone of Mexican heritage; that was not my intent.

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No offense taken, Gemini. My wife is of Mexican heritage, and never fully understood the "holiday" either. Celebrating the victory in one battle in a war that was ultimately lost. Sort of like the Japanese celebrating "Bataan Day". But she gets a kick out of watching the "Whettoes" wearing Chinese made serapes and mispronouncing "tortilla" and "caliente", and thinking muenster cheese is a national Mexican staple. To top it all off, I'm sort of like that "most interesting man in the world" in that I don't often drink beer, but when I do, I prefer DOS EQUIIS.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Sepiatone wrote:

 

 

My wife is of Mexican heritage, and never fully understood the "holiday" either. Celebrating the victory in one battle in a war that was ultimately lost. Sort of like the Japanese celebrating "Bataan Day".

 

 

 

 

 

Sepiatone:

 

 

Well, actually the war was utimately WON; the French were driven out in 1867. But it is true that after La Batalla de Puebla, they did occupy the country for five years. The significance of the one battle is that it was won, against all odds, by defenders of a country rich in natural and human resources, but which has been weak militarily as its leaders fought for themselves, not the greater good. Mexico has been invaded repeatedly by outside forces: the Spanish, British, French and Americans. So the win has come to resonate outsized to its actual accomplishment, as the will of a people, much trampled on, to maintain its sovereignty.

 

 

 

 

 

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My first trip to Mexico was to Yucatan in 1964. I was around 21 years old and I couldn't speak a word of Spanish. I had read about the ancient Mayan cities, and I wanted to see them. When I got to Merida, I rented a car and hit the road. Everyone was so friendly, and many locals were surprised to see a lone American out on the road by himself.

 

Back in those days, there was no danger at all of an American traveling around the country all by himself. (Of course, the same was true about the US back then too.)

 

Years later, I saw James FitzPatrick's "Merida and Campeche" (1945) on TCM, and I notice that nothing much had changed downtown by the time I arrived in 1964, except that in his film, most of the buildings had small water tanks on top of them. I figure this means the city had installed regular city water pipes by the time I got there.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0154869/

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> {quote:title=Sepiatone wrote:}{quote}

>To top it all off, I'm sort of like that "most interesting man in the world" in that I don't often drink beer, but when I do, I prefer DOS EQUIIS.

>

> Sepiatone

>

 

You should try Negro Modelo and Bohemia. Both are better. But, Dos Equis IS way better than Corona. :)

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